The Problem With “Unreal” Candy and Nutrition Facts Labels

I have a new post up at Huffington Post Food, about this crazy new “healthy” candy called “Unreal” candy.

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Here’s the heart of what annoys me about the candy, and about the marketing of processed products more generally:

Unreal candy is probably better than most of the garbage that kids get on Halloween, but it’s already positioning itself in ridiculous ways, with it’s “Yes we candy” ads and the helpful little chart in which Unreal is compared unfavorably to peanut M&Ms and favorably to ORANGES. Can we agree that attempting to imply that any candy (whatever its merits) stacks up favorably, nutritionally speaking, to oranges is just silly? But the magic of nutritional lables is that they somehow level ground that can’t actually be leveled. I’m not against candy, and I’m certainly happy to see candy available that’s not full of artificial whatevers, but it’s just so annoying when a product like this — a sugary, processed treat, let’s face it — is marketed as healthy, more like an orange than peanut M&Ms when, clearly, the chocolate and candy coated peanut is a lot more like a peanut M&M than like an orange. This same strange leveling happens when a dieter forgoes from-scratch brownies baked by a friend but will eat a diet-plan-approved, supposedly low-glycemic packaged SuperChocoBrownieSlimBlastBar (or something like) because the latter is ‘healthier’ somehow.

(It isn’t. It never is.)

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